Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Andrewes: The Church's Kingdom Star

I come to the end of my work day and have worked late. It has been a busy day but one of the most edifying. It has been over a year since I looked at Isaacson's brief description of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes' life but after reading it slowly, taking notes and pondering this prelate's life, I am most moved by his piety and example of what it means to be a bishop in Christ's Church. His zeal and piety, charity and compassion; faithfulness and integrity; gratitude and thankfulness to others; hospitality, humanity, affability, and modesty; his rigorous study; his eloquent sermons and sound writings; his learning, wit, memory, judgment, gravity and humility simply place him in the category of the greatest of saints. He loathed all sin but especially usury, simony, and sacrilege. His generosity to the poor and needy simply leaves me speechless. He followed the path of his life while he travelled the road leading up to his death continuing to exhibit his generosity and graciousness to those around him. After his death, his will leaves one in an almost paralyzed state as you meet face-to-face, in Isaacson's words, a man of whom the Church of God "suffered an irreparable loss by his death."

This autumn we celebrate the 450th year of his life and the 400th year of his consecration as bishop. We will be having a big celebration at Southwark Cathedral for a day of joy and thankfulness where +Andrewes is buried and a monument is erected to this great prelate. There will also be a celebration at Oxford and details of that will be posted here as well. The celebration at Southwark will be on 3 November at the Festal Evensong. Speaker will be Nicholas Lossky who has written a wonderful book on Andrewes' sermons in French and was translated by our own, Professor Andrew Louth, here at the University of Durham. I hope you can make these celebrations if you are in the area.

I leave the reader with this poem about Andrewes at the end of Isaacson's treatment of the Life and Death of Lancelot Andrewes:

Reader, be serious let thy thoughts reflect
On this grave father with large respect;
Peruse his well-spent life, and thou shalt finde
He had a rare and heav'n=enamell'd minde.
He was our kingdome's Star, and shin'd most bright
In sad affliction's darke and cloudyst night;
Let his example teach us how to live
In love and charity; that we may give
To those, whose wants inforce them to implore
Our ayde, and charity makes no man poore.
ANDREWES was fill'd with goodnesse, all his dayes
Were crown'd and guilded with resounding praise.
The world shall be his herald to proclaime
The ample glories of his spreading fame.


Anonymous Becca said...

is there a book on Andrews that you would recommend to someone who has never read him before? lovely post ... kingdom stuff ... as usual. Wish I had visited your cathedral when in England several weeks ago.

3:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


One of the sad things about Andrewes is that there is not that much out there on him. Hence, I am working on him in my postgrad studies. There are some older books but not much new in print. Some stuff is coming out now from Dr. Marianne Dorman. She has a new book on Andrewes, A Perennial Preacer of the Post-Reformation English Church. She also has a new book that will be out this summer or early autumn called Lancelot Andrewes: The Mentor of Reformed Catholicism in the Post- Reformation Church in England. Dr. Dorman is a dear friend and she has a wonderful website dedicated to Andrewes with lots of stuff there. http://mariannedorman.homestead.com/Index.html

His works are in the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology (11 volumes). There is also a book by T.S. Eliot For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on Style and Order, 1928. What he is most known for is The Preces Privatae (Private Prayers) of Lancelot Andrewes . . . London, 1903. thrans. by F.E.Brightman. This can be found on the Internet at ABE Books. The Brightman edition also has Eliot's essay in it. If you can find this it will be most useful in your private worship. There should be numerous copies of it out there.

I have to agree about the Durham cathedral; I've seen a lot of them in England and am still most impressed with ours. But maybe on your next trip! All the best wishes.

8:19 am  
Anonymous becca said...

thanks so much!

3:01 am  

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    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

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